Monday, November 6, 2017

The Ancestors, Part 2

From my family chronicles.  This picture of my great grandfather in 1909 is such a treasure.  I remember him well, as an old man.

Clyde's Brother, my Great Grandfather, Oscar Henry Tilley
Two days after Clyde left the home station, Grandpa took my trunks, my two little ones and me to the depot at Frankfort and put us on the train.  I’m sure it nearly broke them up for they did love the children so much, but I didn’t realize it then.  We had to change trains in the middle of the night and had a long wait in a cold depot.  After we got into Nebraska the track ran along the North Platte River and it rained all of the way.  The next day we pulled into the little town of Keystone about noon.  It was still raining – no one was on the station platform but an old man pushing a cart full of baggage.  About two block an expanse of mud and water I got to building with a big sign on it saying Scully Hotel.  Clyde had told me to go there if I arrived before he did, and as he was nowhere in sight, I picked up my luggage and baby and Ruth and I waded across the mud.  I open the door to a room full of men and tobacco smoke.  They were all interested in the location of our land; for most of them were waiting for the rain to stop they could get on their way to their land.

Mrs. Scully, both owner and cook was busy putting dinner on the table, family-style, a hearty meat and potatoes noon dinner.  They made room for us and we were glad to have a good hot meal for it was really chilly.  When Mrs. Scully got around to it she took us up stairs to a small bare room – no carpet, just a bed, a washstand with a bowl and pitcher on it, one straight back wooden chair and a “potty” under the bed.  My sleepy little boy was ready for his nap, but Ruth was too excited to lie still, so we went back to the smoke filled room and big rough friendly men.  Three of them were to be our near near neighbors, if one could use the word near, for each of us would be on a square mile of land.

I was disappointed that Clyde hadn’t come in the day before, for there were only three trains a week on this line, but I thought sure he would be in the next day.  When the train was due on Wednesday, several of the men put on their rain coasts and were ready to go down to him unload, but there was no emigrant car side-tracked.  I was really disappointed but the men assured me that if often took a week to be picked up by trains that were to carry animals that needed to be unloaded every twenty for hours, which as demanded by law.  So Clyde didn’t get in until Friday.  Several of the waiting men went to down to the car and helped him unload the whole car in one afternoon.  They loaded one wagon with the things we would need most when reached the McNamara place, which would be our home for the first few months.

The weather was showing signs of clearing up, so Saturday morning I went to the only grocery store in town and bought a long list of staples and some quick foods that we could eat on the long slow trip the next day.  Some of the men spied Clyde’s violin and wanted him to play for a dance Saturday night.  Homesteaders and cowboys are always ready to dance and it was not easy to find music for it out there.

5 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful read and grand story of family history.

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    1. We all feel fortunate to have these accounts and photos. Now to pass them on to the next generation!

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  2. What a treasure your photos and written family history are. Writing brings experience to life again. Love that Clyde played the violin so well that people danced when he played.

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    1. oh yeah, their little band ended up traveling far and wide for dances that would last for two days. Those dudes knew how to have fun!

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  3. great story, I read this stuff and always enjoy and learn new things.

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